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What can I do with my degree?: Geography

The analytical and research skills gained from your geography degree are attractive to a range of employers

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree:

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

The direction your career takes may depend on your interest in physical or human geography. Try and get work experience in your chosen field to get an insight into the work available and to establish contacts. Fieldwork is a useful way of developing your practical skills and gaining hands-on experience, valued by employers. Some degree courses also include a placement year either in the UK or abroad.

The technical and interpersonal skills you develop during your degree will equip you to apply for a range of jobs when you graduate. If you're unsure which career to follow, try doing some work-shadowing to find out about particular career areas that are of interest to you.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Geography graduates are employed in a wide range of sectors, including the public sector, education, commerce, industry, transport and tourism. Geography graduates have excellent transferable skills, which also attract employers from the business, law and finance sectors.

Employers include:

  • local government;
  • the Civil Service;
  • the armed forces;
  • Ministry of Defence;
  • police service;
  • private companies;
  • environmental consultancies;
  • environmental protection agencies;
  • utility companies;
  • charities;
  • information systems organisations.

Find information on employers in environment and agriculture, energy and utilities, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying geography provides you with an insight into a range of practical, social, economic and environmental issues. In addition to core geographic skills, for example field work and the use of specialist field equipment, preparing maps and diagrams, and using social survey and interpretative methods, you also develop a range of key skills that are relevant to many jobs and sectors.

These include:

  • skills in research and data collection, analysis and evaluation;
  • mathematical and computational skills;
  • IT skills, for example computer cartography and the use of databases and spreadsheets;
  • written and oral communications skills, including report writing and data presentation;
  • the ability to understand abstract concepts and articulate these to a range of audiences;
  • planning and problem-solving skills;
  • creative thinking and the ability to recognise the moral and ethical issues involved in debates;
  • the ability to work independently and also in a team, taking on board different ideas and coming to a consensus;
  • self-motivation and self-reliance;
  • time management and the ability to meet deadlines.

Further study

Some geographers choose to go on to postgraduate study to specialise in an area from their undergraduate degree, such as geographical information systems, remote sensing, environmental conservation, environmental management, oceanography, coastal and marine management, meteorology or water resources.

Postgraduate courses in teaching, surveying or urban/rural planning are also popular, as they qualify you to work in these career areas. Some geographers also opt to take business or management courses.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search postgraduate courses.

What do geography students do?

More than 60% of geography graduates are in full-time employment six months after graduating. The most popular areas of work include marketing, human resources and industrial relations, the environment, management consultancy and business analysis.

More than a quarter of geography graduates continue studying after graduation.

Graduate destinations for geography
Destinations Percentage
Employed 61.5%
Further study 19.9%
Working and studying 5.9%
Unemployed 6.3%
Other 6.4%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 18.2%
Business, HR and financial 16.2%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 12.1%
Technicians and other professionals 10.3%
Other 43.2%

For a detailed breakdown of what geography graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2014

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